Work has been going crazy as usual - so crazy that I must admit I find it almost suffocating and I have to remind myself to breath every day or else I reckon I may just keel over with the stress. Blogging seems to have taken a backburner too, as blog posts seem to only emerge after two days versus a few hours. Enough of the whinging and back to food.
frying prawns takes a lot of heat
I admit I was toying with the idea of not blogging about this place. Usually the general rule seems to be "I don't blog a place if it's not worth it" but till today I am reminded of one blog reader's request, that I blog about the good, the bad (and even the ugly) dining places in town.
cooking the lala
For the longest time ever, I have heard rumblings about this 20-year old stall that sold seafood right smack within a food court at Imbi just behind the Walter Grenier flats. My friend CS who patronised this place told me they sold amazingly good bali tong and she will often buy back the seafood like crabs and etc, to eat at home instead since it was kinda dingy. She did warn me that on occasions the quality of the crabs can be quite "watery", which I felt was their let down.
yummy siong tong lala packed with lots of ginger and chillies
Taking CS' cue, I also packed back my food. Prior to my meal, I was treated to a visual display of what went on in the "kitchen" since it was all open to see being located at a food court. Definitely an eye opener, the owner was busy at his 5 and more cast iron woks boiling up sauces, cooking the seafood simultaneously. There's a lot of fire action going around and when he saw me snapping away, he even stoked the fire higher for me. Even tourists who walk by can't help but be fascinated with the whole cooking process.
Not being a fan of balitong, I opted for the normal clams cooked in a soupy broth aka siong tong lala. Eaten piping hot the clams were gorgeous with a stock infused with a whole lot of ginger and chopped chili padi or bird's eye chillies. Definitely good to warm up the tummy since the stock starts to burn a little from the ginger and chillies.
kam heong crab
Another favourite were the prawns, dry fried with chopped garlic and chillies. Cooked briefly in high heat, the whole dish is very aromatic and finger licking good. Tasted even good the next day when I had leftovers for dinner.
The letdown were the crabs - while they came super fresh I'm still not sure if they were picked at the wrong time of the month (I understand from the Crab Queen Precious Pea, there are certain times in the month where the crab meat can be watery). Steamed crabs weren't so tasty as the meat just didn't make the mark. This even ruined their kam heong style crabs also. I won't rule out their crab potential as obviously they're famous for the crustaceans hence I reckon it definitely needs a second visit to test out the theory. To be safe, stick to the lala and bali tong dishes that were very popular. The cooking styles for the dishes are also quite limited - steamed, chili and kam heong for the crabs and similar styles for the other seafood. More pictures can be found at the Flickr set (including those funny expressions from the chef when he is cooking).
Stall No. 48
Jalan Walter Grenier
Jalan Walter Grenier
(Pork free. Stall is opposite Restaurant Then Siong and at the food court area right behind Overseas Restaurant and between Jalan Walter Grenier's flats.)
*Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here is entirely based on my personal tastebuds and may vary for others. This review is time sensitive; changes may occur to the place later on that can affect this opinion. The reviewer also declares that she has not received any monetary or non-monetary compensation from this place for writing the review.